At the 10th annual MenuDirections conference, held in Charleston, S.C., Feb. 26-28, attendees had the chance to learn how to Create Flavor, while Selling Health with educational workshops and networking opportunities.
The third and final day showcased workshops based on cooking healthy, including sessions on cooking with herbs, gluten-free dining and menuing seafood. The conference concluded with our second annual Goldies awards, which were presented in partnership with The Culinary Institute of America. Click through for photos from Day 3.
Breakfast, sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board, offered attendees a chance to network and compare notes on the day's activities.
Blueberry and raisin parfaits got attendees fired up for the last day of the conference.
Chef Todd Downs presented on making gluten-free options not only healthy but also delicious.
During the presentation Chef Downs gave operators ideas for two healthy gluten-free dishes: a savory California Raisin trail mix with chipotle chile pepper powder and a chickpea crostini with Moroccan sweet hot tomato sauce.
Joe Stanislaw, corporate director of foodservice for Whittier Health Network, and Marilyn Mills, clinical dietitian for Elliot Health System, presented on the importance of cooking with herbs for flavor as well as the body's health.
The presenters shared the benefits of using more herbs in cooking such as cutting fat calories, slicing empty carb calories, lowering sodium, adding flavor, aiding digestion and the immune system, plus providing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.
“It’s not just the culinary benefits [of herbs],” Mills said. “It’s the health benefits. [Using herbs] is stealth health, for sure.”
Chef Nick Pajor, manager of culinary innovation for King & Prince Seafood, presented on the health benefits of menuing more seafood.
Chef Pajor took a look at historically proven methods of menuing seafood such as Friday fish fries, fish and chips and captain’s platters. However some new trends he noted included the use of super local ingredients, innovative preparations, regional ethnic cuisines and fish items suitable for food trucks. Pajor confessed he is a big fan of the fish taco truck. Another big trend, he added, is sustainability.
Chef Pajor made a version of Charleston, S.C., favorite shrimp and grits during his session.
Jon Plodzik, director of dining services for the University of New Hampshire, won the Steal This Idea contest with this idea: "To increase engagement with our guests we have started our own YouTube videos of our activities and students enjoying them. The students love watching the videos. We linked them to our home page and we've had more than 2,500 views in just two weeks. We love the engagement with the students."
Editor Paul King presented Plodzik with his prize: an iPad2.
David Kamen, project manager for CIA Consulting, introduced this year's Goldie Awards program.
The redesigned golden egg Goldies award.
The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, was present to accept their Goldie in the Going Green category. (from left to right) FSD Editor Paul King, UMass Executive Chef Willie Sng, Director of Residential Dining Garett DiStefano and Purchasing and Marketing Manager Chris Howland.
After the winner was announced, attendees watched the winner's application video. To view all the Goldies winners' videos, click here.
The University of New Hampshire, in Durham, was present to accept their award in the Health & Wellness category. (from left to right) Editor Paul King, UNH Director of Dining Services Jon Plodzik, Director of Culinary Services Ralph Coughenour, Chef Christopher Kaschak and Registered Dietititan Rochelle L'Italien.